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OSHA's Top 10 Violations for 2015 and Trends for 2016

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Fri, Oct 16, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

OSHA recently announced this fiscal year's preliminary list of their "Top 10" most frequently cited workplace safety violations. Below, you will find the list as well some insight on OSHA's new approach to inspections and trends for 2016. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing blog articles written with the intent of showcasing these top violations, and how to avoid them.

The "Top 10" for FY 2015 are:Fall protection is still the most cited OSHA safety violation

  1. Fall Protection (Construction) 
    • Standard Cited: 1926.501 - 6,721 violations
    • Violations up (6,143 in FY 2014)
  2. Hazard Communication
    • Standard Cited: 1910.1200 - 5,192 violations
    • Violations up (5,161 in FY 2014)
  3. Scaffolding (Construction)
    • Standard Cited: 1926.451 - 4,295 violations
    • Violations up (4,029 in FY 2014)
  4. Respiratory Protection
    • Standard Cited: 1910.134 - 3,305 violations
    • Violations down (3,223 in FY 2014)
  5. Lockout/Tagout
    • Standard Cited: 1910.147 - 3,002 violations
    • Violations up (2,704 in FY 2014)
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks
    • Standard Cited: 1910.178 - 2,760 violations
    • Violations up (2,662 in FY 2014)
  7. Ladders (Construction)
    • Standard Cited: 1926.1053 - 2,489 violations
    • Violations up (2,448 in FY 2014)
  8. Electrical-Wiring Methods
    • Standard Cited: 1910.305 - 2,404 violations
    • Violations down (2,490 in FY 2014)
  9. Machine Guarding
    • Standard Cited: 1910.212 - 2,295 violations
    • Violations up (2,200 in FY 2014)
  10. Electrical-General Requirements
    • Standard Cited: 1910.303 - 1,973 violations
    • Violations down (2,056 in FY 2014)

Remember, these are what causes the majority of injuries and deaths as well as what a compliance officer would look for most often during inspections.

Also, OSHA had announced that it will change the way it approaches inspections. The plan was to (starting this month, October 2015) emphasize quality over quantity. The idea was that OSHA would then be able to tackle more complicated, time-consuming inspections and therefore more impactful inspections. There is a bit of pressure under the current system to make the numbers, and hopefully with a new system, more meaningful and effective inspections can occur and lead to improved worker safety.

The last piece to note is about enforcement trends. As the number of inspections may change going into 2016 due to the changes in their approach to inspections, the trend of paying higher fines per citation has been continued into 2015 and may very well continue into 2016 seeing as the new system of inspections will focus on these more impactful inspections. Also to note on that subject is OSHA's Severe Violator Enforcement Program (SVEP) which saw an almost 25% increase from 2014 to 2015, and continues onwards to today. Lastly, many more OSHA inspections are brought about by employee complaints, as OSHA has reached out to employees directly and allows easier access for them to go online and reach out to OSHA. Unjustifed complaints come in, due to disgrunted employees or whatnot, but this can be reduced by creating good safety culture within their workplace. Expect this trend of more concerned employees reaching out to continue.

Tags: osha training, osha most cited, OSHA, osha compliance, osha top violations, osha safety, osha general industry training, osha safety topics, osha violations, osha safety training, osha violations 2015

OSHA Announced Their Top 10 Most Cited Violations for 2014

Posted by Joshua Fleishman on Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

OSHA's preliminary top 10 violations for fiscal year 2014 were recently announced at the National Safety Council Expo by the deputy director of OSHA's Directorate of Enforcement Programs, Patrick Kapust.

Before we cover those most cited standards, let's a look at a few statistics from 2013.

  • The 3,929 fatal work injuries that occurred in private industry isSafety training - Driver fell asleep at the wheel the lowest total since BLS began collecting this data more than 20 years ago.
  • Transportation-related incidents accounted for 40% of all fatal work injuries, but declined in 2013.
  • One out of six fatal work injuries was the result of violence – including suicide and homicide.
  • Fatal work injuries involving contractors accounted for 17% of all fatal work injuries in 2013.

In some aspects things are better, but clearly, we still have much work to do. Based on 2013's numbers, on average, there are 85 deaths a week or more than 12 deaths every day. Despite being the lowest total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992, that's still too many deaths!

Many, if not close to all, of these deaths are preventable with proper training and a conscience decision from all parties involved to do things as safe as possible and report unsafe actions. As you can see in the most frequently cited standards, many are still "doing it the way we always have done it." For some, this is laziness or a disregard for safety; and for others, it is simply ignorance to the rules and guidelines. The numbers below should be a reminder that we do still have much to do, and that will be hard without open dialogue and a decision to do better for the sake of all those who became a statistic below.

Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2014:


  1. Fall Protection (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.501) 6,143 violations
    1. Examples being: failing to use fall protection correctly or failing to provide fall protection.
  2. Hazard Communications (29 CFR 1910.1200) 5,161 violations
    1. Examples being: failing to have safety data sheets (SDS) for each chemical in the workplace or chemical labeling mistakes.
  3. Scaffolding (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.451) 4,029 violations
    1. Examples being: loading scaffolds in excess of their capacity or failing to protect employees from fall hazards on scaffolds.
  4. Respiratory Protection (29 CFR 1910.134) 3,223 violations
    1. Examples being: lack of a written program or failing to train employees.
  5. Lockout / Tagout (29 CFR 1910.147) 2,704 violationslockout tagout training
    1. Examples being: complete lack of a hazardous energy control program or failing to apply locks.
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks (29 CFR 1910.178) 2,662 violations
    1. Examples being: lack of operator training or forklifts not in safe operating condition.
  7. Electrical - Wiring Methods (29 CFR 1910.305) 2,490 violations
    1. Examples being: conductors enter boxes unprotected or employees are exposed to live contacts.
  8. Ladders (Construction) (29 CFR 1926.1053) 2,448 violations
    1. Examples being: using an inappropriate type of ladder for the job or using a ladder not designed for the load it is carrying.
  9. Machine Guarding (29 CFR 1910.212) 2,200 violations
    1. Examples being: not using guards at point of operation for machinery that may pose a hazard or guards are removed by employees.
  10. Electrical - General Requirements (29 CFR 1910.303) 2,056 violations
    1. Examples being: not having workers appropriately trained to avoid electric shock or electrocution or not guarding live parts.
      Fall protection, safety harness
Seeing fall protection at the top as the the most cited OSHA violationshouldn't surprise you. If you haven't noticed, that is its fourth year in a row at that spot! The data presented here is preliminary. The finalized data and additional details will be posted in December. Check back then when we will update this article (or post a new one) to include the revised  and additional data.

In the meantime, share this information with others! Whether its by emailing or sharing this article on social media sites, or by simple word of mouth at work or with friends. This information is worth most when everyone has the knowledge to prevent these types of accidents. Even if you don't work for a multibillion dollar company, think of the small businesses that have so much to think about that they are oblivious to these facts. To a small company, something so small as a simply hand injury can cost tens of thousands of dollars when you consider direct/indirect costs, medical bills, worker's comp, legal fees, etc.

Do your part and help create a safe working environment for all! If you enjoyed this article, please add STS on Facebook or Twitter. As always, if you have ANY safety-related questions, feel free to email us or contact us online!

Tags: osha training, osha violations 2014, osha most cited, safety training, osha compliance, osha top violations, osha violations